Isabella Eugénie Boyer

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Isabella Eugenie Boyer

Isabella Eugenie Boyer (17 Dec 1841 - 12 May 1904) was a French model.

Biography[edit]

She was born in Paris to Louis Noel Boyer, an African-born confectioner, and his English-born wife Pamilla. She married Isaac Merritt Singer, the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Co., in New York, in 1863 when Isaac was 52 and Isabella was only 22. Singer had a previous common-law wife, Mary Ann Sponsler, who had Isaac arrested for bigamy.

Isabella and Isaac moved to Oldway Mansion in Paignton, England on the Devon coast because New York society frowned on his many "families." They had six children; Winnaretta Eugenie Singer (1865-1943), Washington Merritt Grant Singer (1866-1934), Paris Eugene Singer (1867-1932), Sir Adam Mortimer Singer, Franklin Merritt Morse Singer, and Isabelle-Blanche Singer (1869-1896).

Isaac Singer is reported to have had a total of 22 children with his many paramours. Singer died in 1875 and left an estate of about $14 million, which at the time was a colossal sum of money. His two wills created family tension and lawsuits. Isabella was declared his legal widow.

On January 8, 1879 Isabella married a Dutch musician, Victor Reubsaet, and settled in Paris. Victor was an internationally successful singer and violinist. He was born in 1843 in Sittard, as Nicolas Reubsaet, a son of a simple shoemaker. Pretending to be of noble descent, he falsely claimed the title Vicomte d’Estenburgh. In 1881 he did obtain the title of Duke of Camposelice from Italian King Umberto I[citation needed].

The Duchess of Camposelice was still a striking lady when she met the sculptor Bartholdi. It is rumored she was his model for the Statue of Liberty.

Victor Reubsaet died in September 1887 and Isabella was married, for the third time, in December 1891, to Paul Sohège.

Isabella Eugenia Boyer died at 62 years of age in 1904 in Paris.

References[edit]

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